You are not currently logged in. Please create an account or log in to view the full course.

Forensic Psychology – Important Practices and Research

5. The Origins of Investigative Psychology

This is the course trailer. Please create an account or log in to view this lecture.

  • Description
  • Cite
  • Image Credits

About this Lecture


In this module, we discuss David Canter’s work in offender profiling which helped police capture the ‘railway rapist’ John Duffy in the 1980s and explore how it gradually led to the emergence of the broader discipline of investigative psychology.


In this course, Professor David Canter (University of Liverpool) provides an introduction to the field of forensic psychology and some of the most important practices and areas of research associated with it.

We begin, in module one, with a definition of forensic psychology as a discipline that applies psychological insights to legal processes and the criminal justice system. In module two, we consider the different ways in which psychologists have theorised the causes of crime before moving on, in module three, to a discussion of how crime can be defined and measured. Next, we think about offender profiling and how this practice gradually developed into the broader area of investigative psychology. In module six, we take a closer look at the field of investigative psychology and how it can contribute to police investigations. We then focus on two specific aspects of investigative psychology in modules seven and eight: geographical offender profiling and investigative interviewing. Finally, in module nine, we explore a specific method for modelling serial murder, known as the ‘radex model’ of serial killers.

To find out more about forensic psychology and David Canter’s work visit


Although internationally known for introducing scientific psychology into ‘offender profiling’ and developing the field of Investigative Psychology beyond those origins, Prof. David Canter has a wide range of interests including his continuing work in Environmental Psychology.

Cite this Lecture

APA style

Canter, D. (2019, September 27). Forensic Psychology – Important Practices and Research - The Origins of Investigative Psychology [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Canter, D. "Forensic Psychology – Important Practices and Research – The Origins of Investigative Psychology." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 27 Sep 2019,

Image Credits

"Map of London" by, licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Get instant access to over 5,800 lectures